I run animal sculpture workshops here in the UK and overseas. Places are always in demand and I often have people on the waiting list. It’s not difficult to see the appeal. Animal sculpture workshops offer a fantastic mix of holiday and hobby.
Overseas animal sculpture workshops, like my recent art safari workshop in Zambia, arguably provide the ultimate experience. Where else would you get to observe the animals at close quarters and then translate what you see into a finished animal sculpture?
Whenever I run one of these workshops I’m always amazed at the quality of work the participants produce. Being totally immersed in the process of observing, studying and sculpting the animals enables them to take their skills to a completely new level.
So I thought I would share with you some images from my recent Zambia workshop, including some photos of the clients’ work. My co-leader for this seven night safari was award-winning photographer Nick Garbutt. Our base was the wonderful Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia’s South Lungwa National Park.
The trip was fantastic in every way. It was very well planned, the accommodation and staff and guides were wonderful. I booked this trip because of the sculpture/photography component. It all worked exceptionally well and I loved every minute. The tutors, guides, variety of additional activities were unexpected but very much appreciated. I loved the situation and everything about it.
Our visit was timed for early December. This is a particularly exciting time to visit South Luangwa. It’s the beginning of the rainy season and the park is lush and green with fresh vegetation and there is a wonderful feeling of renewal. This workshop combines early morning and evening game drives (when light conditions and wildlife activity are at their absolute best) with practical demonstrations and tuition in sculpture and photography.
The variety and proximity and abundance of wildlife far exceeded expectations. I loved that we really didn’t see a lot of other people. This was our first safari experience and anything subsequent has a lot to live up to. The lodge and their driver guides were top notch. Nick Garbutt and Nick Mackman were superb as tour leaders.
In the afternoons we work on our animal sculptures. The deck where we work overlooks the watering hole and a mango tree. It’s the perfect place to work. Not only is it very comfortable, but there is a constant flow of wildlife to inspire us.
As you can see, after a week of intensive wildlife watching, photography and sculpture, my clients had produced an incredible body of work. I carefully packed up all their animal sculptures and brought them back with me to the UK for glazing and firing, before shipping them out to the waiting clients.